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How We Got Here



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France and Belgium, such class acts, says the Wall Street Journal (LRR, but it’s worth it).

David Bloom’s Last E-Mail



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NBC reporter David Bloom, who died last week in Iraq, sent a final e-mail to his wife on the eve of his death. It was eerily prescient, almost an epitaph. David was a born-again Christian; a friend of mine who was in a men’s prayer and Bible-study group with him says David was passionately devoted to his family and his God. That friend told me David’s last e-mail was read aloud in a deeply moving Friday meeting with his prayer partners, at which a number of David’s NBC colleagues were present. It was no surprise to those who knew David best, it seems, when he said in that communique (this taken from the MSNBC.com story): “[W]hen the moment comes in my life when you are talking about my last days, I am determined that you and others will say ‘he was devoted to his wife and children, he was admired, he gave every ounce of his being for those whom he cared most about… not himself, but God and his family.’” That’s a man.

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The Use of The Shoe



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Web Briefing: October 14, 2014

From Germany



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“American Fulbright Scholar in Germany” gal reports:


Was surprised (and gratified) to see the usually-typically-anti-American Berliner Morgenpost’s headline (only in German) for Sunday about Putin, Schroeder, Chirac meeting:

Summit of Losers Ends”

Also glad to note that protests have decreased from several hundred thousand protestors in Feb. to 50,000 in March to 15,000 this Saturday. I just wish the demonstrators would notice how silly and ironic it is that the marchs always end at Berlin’s Victory Column. (Victory over who would be a fair question.)

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Russia Spied On Blair For Saddam?



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Just Wondering



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Are “suicide vests” called “suicide waistcoats” in England?

Re: Shagadelic Saddam Shack



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Who woulda thought it? Saddam Hussein Hefner. Wonder if there’s a “grotto”
in there somewhere. Well, at least he has good taste in firearms (if you
forget the Sterlings).

Needed Further Evidence Tony Blair Rocks?



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The Music of The Day



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Want to celebrate the liberation of Iraq? Like patriotic music? Interested in new independent artists? Then check out the superb new album by Eric Free. You can listen to the entire song on the MP3.com website, where all lyrics are available. The first four songs mock tyrants around the world. Free sings, “There’s no God in old Bin Laden, Just the Devil grinnin’ there…Bin Laden, America is comin’ after you! You got no place to run or hide, Your killin’ days are through!…Them crazy Taliban hate women, Treat ‘em all like slaves. They bag ‘em up from head to toe, Can’t even show their face.” Kim Il-Jong gets a bluegrass treatment: “In old Pyongyang lives a little madman. He’s the only son of the old madman…He makes his people call ‘im dear, But it ain’t from love it’s out o’ fear. He kills ‘em if they gripe or jeer. If his name comes up they gotta cheer.” The title track “Saddam Insane” proclaims, “Saddam Insane, twisted brain, Gotta say g’bye to his evil reign! Sad Iraqis’ house of pain, Saddam, Saddam, Saddam Insane!” Inspiring songs such as “United We Stand,” “Flight 93,” “American Heroes (At Ground Zero),” and “America Will Win” celebrate American freedom, valor, and determination. The music, mostly country, is fun and the lyrics are witty, poignant, and erudite. Eric Free’s “Saddam Hussein” is a stunningly brilliant debut, and wonderful listening for everyone who rejoices in the victory of liberty.

Shagadelic Saddam Shack



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Troops make an odd discovery in central Baghdad.

Over in Syria...



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denial that they are hiding weapons.

Getting Nervous?



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Breaking News!



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Remember that LAX July 4th shooting at the El Al ticket counter by an Egyptian? I know this will surprise you, but it is official: It was terrorism.

Chem Alert



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The Al Douri Embrace



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A reader reminds me (I was falling asleep at the time):
Last night, at a press stakeout, Mohammad Al Douri embraced a CNN reporter before he got in his care to leave. Fox, it may not surprise you, showed that footage.

A Concise, Convenient History



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CNN’s Rym Brahimi just quoted a Jordanian woman who told her, talking about Saddam Hussein’s place in history: “No, we won’t remember Saddam, but we will remember this war.”

Harold Bloom’s Books



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During the Dark Ages, Roman Catholic monks kept civilization alive by gathering and copying books within their monastery fastnesses, until such time as literacy and learning could re-emerge. One thinks of them, perhaps, when reading this story, which reports the news that the eminent literary critic Harold Bloom, who is not a Christian, has chosen to donate his library not to Yale, where he teaches, but to a small Catholic college in Vermont. Writes Dinitia Smith in the Times:

Harold Bloom has always railed against what he calls “the school of resentment,” Marxist, feminist, Afrocentric and deconstructionist scholars who, he says, deny the aesthetic and spiritual values inherent in great literature. So when it came time for Mr. Bloom, 72, to choose a place to donate his immense personal library and his archives, he bypassed several larger prominent universities that in his opinion house those very practitioners of resentment in favor of a small, relatively unknown Catholic college in Colchester, Vt.

“Dear child,” Mr. Bloom said in a telephone interview, using the appellation he applies to friend, stranger, male and female, alike, “with rare exceptions the universities and colleges in the English-speaking world that have sustained some sense of literature as a matter of powerful cognition and extraordinary aesthetic beauty tend to be the Roman Catholic institutions.”

Re: Surrendered



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A correction: (I was posting as I was collecting bits of info from various sources) The photo op outside the Palestine Hotel may have been two other Baathists, separate from the al-Sadi story.

Suicide Vests



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Found in a Baghdad school…and empty hangars.

Surrendered



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The photo op was a stop on the way to surrendering. Saddam’s top scientific guy is ours: Amir Hamudi Hasan al-Sadi, one of the cards in yesterday’s deck.

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